Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey ties Harvard

Bryan Lipiner

Through the first 55 minutes, the stat sheet may have read that Quinnipiac had its game won. The Bobcats were leading the Crimson 2-1, also outshooting their counterpart by a noticeable margin.

Yet to the 1,761 in attendance Tuesday night at Bright Hockey Center in Allston, Mass., the game on the ice provided a different story.

With 48.7 seconds remaining in regulation after countless minutes of Harvard pressure, Alexander Kerfoot jammed the puck past Michael Garteig in a scrum in front, tying the game at 2 and sending it into overtime, the game later ending in a 2-2 final. With the tie, Quinnipiac moves to 0-0-5 in overtime play this season.

Despite only scoring twice, the Bobcats had 16 grade-a opportunities.

“We gotta start doing little things better,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “Early in the season, we did a lot of little things well. Now we’re kind of drifting.”

Kellen Jones and Matthew Peca recorded goals for Quinnipiac, the former grabbing his 12th score of the season.

Tied at 1 after two periods, Peca got his chance early in the third stanza. Peca skated up the far side wing, ripping a shot past Raphael Girard for the 2-1 Bobcats lead.

“It was a good pass to me wide,” Peca said. “I just put it on net, hoped for it to go in, luckily it did.”

Over the game’s next several minutes, Harvard worked the offensive zone, also getting scoring chances on its two power plays.

Finally, at 19:11 of the third, the Crimson found the back of the net with goaltender Raphael Girard pulled. Kerfott skated in on the crease, pushing a rebound past Garteig to force extra minutes.

“One of our players made a poor decision at the blue line; we didn’t keep it out,” Pecknold said.

Though ending in a tie, Quinnipiac had plenty of chances in overtime to leave with two points. Midway through the period, Sam Anas was hit with a pass from Kellen Jones on a 2-on-1, only to sail it high. Then, with seconds remaining in the game, Connor Clifton snapped a shot off Girard’s mask.

“We’re a better hockey team than we showed tonight, I think there’s a lot of things we can improve on,” Peca said. “Better compete level, ultimately.”

Girard made 29 saves between the posts, while Garteig stopped 20-of-22 shots.

“We need to play harder than that,” Pecknold said. “We didn’t stop on pucks, we lost battles. Give Harvard credit, they competed. We gotta finish our chances, come out of here with more than one point.”